Product Closeup: Drinkwell Pet Fountains
Cats rarely let you know when they aren't feeling well. So when I came home from a trip and Cali the calico suddenly squatted right in front of me and left a bloody puddle as if to say, "Hey, something's wrong with me," I knew we were needing to head to the veterinarian quickly.
In recent weeks, we'd noticed that Cali was choosing to urinate on the laundry, but I thought perhaps I just wasn't keeping up with the litter box duties as well as usual, and that was her way of protesting. I'd also heard that changes in litter-box habits could indicate a change in physical or emotional health, so I kept an eye on her. I happened to notice that the spots of urine had crystals, and I knew that couldn't be good.
Apparently, the crystals mean that your cat is collecting calcium or magnesium in the bladder. These crystals are bladder irritants. They can also increase the risks for kidney stones or even fatal bladder obstructions. These can be caused by diet, or by not drinking enough water. Some suggest dietary changes or an increase in water, but I was unsure if I was getting Cali to drink enough. And when she showed me the blood in her urine, it became clear that palliative treatments weren't enough.
We took Cali to the veterinarian and luckily she did not have stones, but her bladder resembled a "snowglobe." She was prescribed antibiotics and a prescription diet that would dissolve the crystals. I asked the vet about my idea to get a fountain, and she was very much in favor of the idea.
I decided to get the Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain in plastic since it had a 1-gallon capacity, was dishwasher safe, and I thought it would suit our two cats and two small dogs the best (and fit into my budget.) I put it on a bath rug to protect my wood floors.
Here is the famous company mascot, Ms. Boo checking out the new product. (I apologize for the poor-quality video from my phone.)
It took Ms. Boo a little while to get the courage to try the new fountain, but her sister Cali took to it immediately. Her doggie brother Joey also likes it as well.
Assembly took a while, though I was trying to do it in a state of near exhuastion. I like the fact that you can adjust the water flow and the number of spouts. I selected three spouts to give the pets that enjoy drinking out of the bottom plenty of splash-free room. Cali likes to drink out of the basin while Ms. Boo has now adjusted to drinking out of the spout. It reminds her of drinking out of the sink stream. But this new fountain will save water from being lost down the sink drain.
Bonus tip: I tucked the cord under the bath rug to keep the cats from being tempted to chew on it.
Already, I can see a difference in Cali and how she is feeling. Her urine is much less concentrated, and this aerated, filtered water will be good for all of our pets! I highly recommend this product. Believe me, the investment is worth it. Our vet visit was $185, so this is a bargain to keep her healthy.
I'm thinking of getting the smaller capacity Drinkwell Original Fountain for my bedroom so that the cats have access to good water at night when they sleep with me. The soothing water sound is an added bonus!
Have you tried any pet fountains? What were your favorite features and did your pets enjoy them?